Elseworlds from CW

Posted by  on December 3, 2018

Elseworlds: The CW Supergirl/The Flash/Arrow crossover.

It’s almost time for another CW crossover show, this time entitled “Elseworlds”. I was a little disappointed to see the Legends wouldn’t be involved in this one but I soon perked up when I found out that John Wesley Shipp‘s 1990 Flash incarnation would be appearing.

I’ve posted before about my preference for Shipp’s Flash. Prior to Shipp playing the Scarlet Speedster I wasn’t a Flash fan. Shipp brought the character to life for me so it’s great that he’s back in the suit.
I used to watch the show with my Dad; on Saturday’s if I recall correctly. My Dad passed away in 1995 so I’m a little saddened he’s not around to see the character back on the TV, I know he would’ve liked that.

I came across this trailer earlier today and it gave me chills. Not only do I see Shipp’s Flash complete with crushed velvet suit but what’s that I hear? Yes, ’90s Flash theme.

Philips CDi and a little confusion from the internet

Posted by  on May 21, 2018

I got my hands on a Philips CDi

While browsing a local charity shop a couple of weeks back, amongst the Hi-Fi equipment, something caught my eye. A Philips CDi 210/45.

Philips CDi

A price label was just about visible as I leaned over some TVs to the shelving the CDi was sitting on. I pulled the unit closer and the price label had “£20 -no remote” written on it. I bought it anyway figuring I can get a remote later.

Only vaguely recalling the CDi back in the day I decided to do a little research on the internet. There was a demo model up and running in Heward’s Home Stores I remembered seeing and that there were some really awful Zelda games for it but that was as much as I knew.

This is where the confusion comes in.

Every review I read, every Youtube video I watched, every forum thread I found all spoke of a major irritant with the CDi. Even though there was a controller socket on the front the gamepad didn’t work in there, only the wired remote.

Now, I have no idea what the people on these sites are talking about because I bought both kinds of gamepad on eBay and both work just fine in the front input socket. Unless my Philips CDi is some kind of unique unit there must be a lot of people out there in internet land with broken CDi’s.

Philips CD-i Touchpad & Gamepad

What are the games really like?

During my research I came across a lot of people berating the quality of Philips CDi games. I can’t trust these guys any longer having already failed me with misinformation on the front input socket.

One game that drew my attention was Hotel Mario. Yes, that Mario, of Nintendo fame. The game basically involves Mario jumping on enemies, using lifts, collecting coins and closing doors. To complete a level you have to close all of the doors. I think a better title for the game would be Mario OCD. It’s not a bad game really although it wouldn’t be out of place in an ’80s arcade.

There’s some old favourites such as Dragon’s Lair, Flashback, and a Namco arcade compilation featuring Galaxian, Ms. Pac-man and Galaga. Micro Machines also makes an appearance although not quite as polished as the Sega Mega Drive version I enjoyed in my youth.

Having said that I should point out there’s also a whole heap of crap available for the CDi, at least in my opinion. I’m going to reserve overall judgement until I have a decent selection of games  though.


For anyone looking for information on the Philips CDi here’s what I found that contradicts what the rest of the internet says.

  • Game controllers work fine in the front input
  • Most of the games I tried do have a pause although there are those that do not
  • You don’t need to cycle the power to reset multi-game discs to menu. I found games like Namco Arcade could be reset by pressing down and ●+●●

From Vaping to Spectrum to White Lines…

Posted by  on August 25, 2017


If anything ever really offered a true representation of the randomness of my life it’s been these last few weeks.

Vaping …

It all started with a loose 510 connector on my Vaporesso Target Pro. The tank kept getting a wobble on so I stripped the base down to find the 510 connector is a “pop-on” type. I wasn’t going to open it up every other week to pop the connector back on so I decided to order a Fat Daddy v4 510 connector from http://www.modmaker.co.uk/. It arrived pretty quickly. I had to Dremel out the hole on the Vaporesso for it to fit but the final job was worth it.

… to Spectrum 48K …

While my soldering gear was out I decided to do some of those soldering jobs I’d been putting off for a while. My first task was to composite mod my old Spectrum 48K. I took my faithful old Speccy out of storage and, before getting its composite on, I decided to take it for a test run. This presented me with a slight problem… I haven’t owned a cassette deck in 25 years. After finding a couple of games online in TZX format I converted them to MP3 and dropped them on to my iPhone. I know there’s a long list of people having already done this but I can’t help but love the ability of 30 year old technology running in harmony with modern technology.

Spectrum iPhoneA quick game of one of my Dad’s old favourites, Bomb Jack, loaded from my iPhone

… to Spectrum 48K+ …

Continue reading “From Vaping to Spectrum to White Lines…”

Have a Hart Help the Homeless, Birmingham

Posted by  on July 6, 2017

Homeless Help

Once again I’ve been neck deep in real world stuff. This time I’ve been working on something for a local charity group, Have a Hart Help the Homeless.

Have a Hart Help the Homeless are, in their own words “Made up of volunteers, an outreach organisation to help support Birmingham’s homeless”. They do this by taking food, clothing and supplies such as toiletries, out to the homeless people of Birmingham. Support is also provided in the way of help and advice to connect homeless people to relevant services designed to help homeless people get back on their feet.

What have I been doing? Well, the group asked me to put together a website, to their specification, in order for them to grow their volunteer and supporter base… and that’s what I’ve done.

Have a Hart Help the Homelesshttp://www.haveahart.org.uk

I know, I said I wasn’t going to do anymore I.T. work but being for a good cause I decided I would.

Eye Opening

While carrying out the work I have been alerted to some appalling figures and statistics. Shelter.org.uk recently conducted a survey which estimates that there are almost 10,000 homeless people living in Birmingham. For further perspective that’s one in every 119 people.

I had no intention of posting about this when I started but now it only seems right that I do.

I would like to ask a favour.

I’d like to ask that if you’d be kind enough to offer your support. It doesn’t have to be money, or goods, it can be as simple as popping over to the site and liking their Facebook page or following their Twitter feed and sharing or retweeting posts. By helping extend their online presence they stand a better chance of accomplishing their mission and you will have helped make a difference, all in the click of a button.

Thank you from myself and on behalf of Have a Hart Help the Homeless. Let’s see if we can bring those homeless figures down, collectively.


Gemini tank by Vaporesso and loose negative post fix

Posted by  on April 12, 2017

My Vaporesso Target Pro and Gemini RTA tank

I’d been happily using my Kangertech Subox mini v2 for a while now. That was until, while dropping a new coil in the RBA deck, I managed to send it skooting along the kitchen worktop and into the washing up bowl full of hot water. I dried it out and it worked OK for a few months but after that it started crapping out on me, intermittently not firing up, etc.
Fortunately my partner bought me a Vaporesso Target Pro for my birthday and I got a Vaporesso Gemini tank to go with it. Being an old skool gaming geek I just loved the retro Quickshot joystick look about it.

It’s been going great for me until last week when, while fitting the new coils, I noticed the negative pin had come loose, moving up and down in the slot. This was having an adverse effect on the resistance of my coils by altering the tension on the coils as the pin moved about. At this point I could either send it back, leaving me without a tank for a week or so, or set about securing the post. I decided to secure the post and it turned out a lot simpler than I thought it would. Continue reading “Gemini tank by Vaporesso and loose negative post fix”

Mega-CD Box Art (Europe) collection

Posted by  on January 10, 2017

Mega-CD European box art

UPDATE: It has been brought to my attention (thanks, Rob) that Facebook screws with the images, namely adding a white background and a random filename. I have now uploaded the full size versions in TOSEC naming format to MEGA and added a download link below.DownloadI have a Mega-CD unit in my collection but it’s not always practical digging it out to play a game. Like many others I find it easier to make a backup of my CDs and play them on the PC via an emulator.
I backed up all of my Mega-CD games a while ago so when I received a Linx Vision gaming tablet from the missus and kids this Christmas I decided to install Retroarch and put my Mega-CD games onto the micro SD card.

Linx Vision 8 running Mega-CD via Retroarch

It’s not the first time (and probably not the last) I’ve set up a front-end for emulation. A few years ago I converted an old Sega Saturn controller to USB and added a 64GB flash drive to it. On the flash drive I installed Kega Fusion along with a Hyperspin front-end. It all looked great but something bugged me, the fact all of my European Mega-CD games were accompanied by US “Sega CD” box art. I tried looking around for some European Mega-CD box art for my games but there wasn’t much offering out there.

The Quest

I decided, after configuring Retroarch, it was time I made some up myself. I mostly used box scans found at segaretro.org as source material and re-worked them to fit with my goals. Some images (such as “The San Diego Zoo Presents The Animals!”) I’ve found by scouring the web and rebuilding them as best I could.
After completing box art for my own games I decided to go ahead and do the whole set* of European boxes. I then decided to put them out there on the web for others in the same mindset as myself. There’s a few below as an example but they can all be downloaded from the Hey Munky Facebook page. Continue reading “Mega-CD Box Art (Europe) collection”

Toys of Christmas Past

Posted by  on December 22, 2016

Christmas is an exciting time for a child.

Nothing beats a relaxed family Christmas but while those memories really bring on the nostalgia they’re specific to me and will mean little to anyone else; nor are they really tangible things I can reminisce over with others. Something I can share and nostalgically reminisce over with others though is gifts, specifically toys.

Looking back at my childhood Christmases there are a number of toys that really struck a chord with me, and possibly others.

Continue reading “Toys of Christmas Past”

Christmas Bonus – Nintendo Classic Mini

Posted by  on December 20, 2016

I just won a Nintendo Classic Mini…

Yep, a Nintendo Classic Mini. Sorry, it’s still sinking in that I won something.

Nintendo Classic Mini NES

I’m not the type of person who would normally enter a competition and even on the rare occasion that I do I rarely rank amongst the top scorers; and that’s OK because it’s normally for brain exercise and enjoyment of it all.
The last time I won a prize was back in the early ’80s when I won a competition to meet Worzel Gummidge (Jon Pertwee) at a show way down in the deepest parts of Cornwall but my parents were unable to take me and 5 year old me threatening to make my own way there wasn’t really ever going to make an impact.

Just over a week ago my lovely niece tagged me in Game Smart Yardley‘s post to win a Nintendo Classic Mini. The challenge was to name as many classic games featuring the characters in the image as possible (below). The person with the most correct answers wins.

Game Smart Yardley's competition

At first I thought I’d have a go just for myself. I could see a whole bunch of characters on there I recognised instantly and some characters that resided deep in the darkest pits of my memories going back 30 years. I started noting them down and by the time I finished I decided I might as well take a shot at the prize. I’m glad I did because I won.

Thank you guys at Game Smart Yardley and thank you to my niece for tagging me in the first place. If it’s any consolation to my fellow competitors, all this shows is I’m an old gaming nerd who can’t remember his own phone number but still remembers a character from a game he played in 1986.